AAA: Thanksgiving air travel expected to rise 6.6%

AAA Travel forecasts that the number of air travelers during the Thanksgiving holiday will increase 6.6%, to 4.7 million, which would be the highest number of Thanksgiving air travelers since 2005. 

AAA said the average roundtrip domestic ticket is $681 this year, up 5% from last year. The average international ticket is $1,231, down 57% from last year.

According to AAA, 1.55 million Americans will travel by cruise, bus and train, up 11% compared to last year. Domestic cruise prices are down 12%, averaging $1,507, while the average price of an international cruise has risen 24% to $2,902.

Paula Twidale, AAA Travel senior vice president, said that cruising is a popular choice this year as it has “made a remarkable comeback” from the pandemic. Twidale noted that most Thanksgiving cruises are sold out.

Pricing for hotels, rental cars and tours are all down domestically, while international prices have risen.

The average price for a domestic hotel stay over the Thanksgiving holiday is $598, down 12% from last year. Internationally, prices are up 5%, for an average of $772.

The average domestic car rental is $590 this year, down 20%, while the international car rental average is $696, up 9%.

Domestic tours average $1,058 this year, down 15%; internationally, tour prices are up 21%, costing an average of $1,208.

Domestically, the top three Thanksgiving destinations are all in Florida: Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Those top three spots are followed by Anaheim, Calif.; Tampa; New York City; Las Vegas; Honolulu; Maui; and San Diego.

Internationally, Cancun, Mexico City and Punta Cana top the list. They are followed by Bahrain; Rome; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Nassau, Bahamas; Bali and Papua New Guinea; Paris; and London. 

AAA said Bahrain is high on the international travel list because of the popularity of cruises in the Arabian Gulf.

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